books about friendship

1. In Five Years

Rebecca Serle

Dannie Cohan a Lawyer by proffession knows exactly where she want to be in next five years – until the night of her engagement. In her post-engagement bliss, she has a vision of herself in five years engaged to someone else. She doesn’t think much of it, until years later when she finds her husband is dating her best friend. While the premise sounds light-hearted, partway through the story, beach read goes out the window and thought-provoking steps in. You’ll feel compelled to know if the vision came true and surprised at how well Serle counters your expectations.

2. The Kite Runner

Khaled Hossain

An unforgettable story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner beautifully describes love, friendship, betrayal, and redemption. Be warned that the novel is violent and graphic at times, so understand that while moving, the story is dark and disturbing. It’s that contrast between the worst of human nature and the best that truly brings out a remarkable tale that will stay with you for a long time.

3. A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

Ove, a cantankerous old Swede, just wants to be left in peace so he can commit suicide, but his pesky neighbors keep getting in the way. This heartwarming and hilarious tale is a popular book club choice for books about friendship. Highlighting our need for connection in the modern world, A Man Called Ove typifies how important it is to leave our digital worlds and make sure we check in on our neighbors.

4. The Authenticity Project

Clare Pooley

Septuagenarian Julian Jessop feels like the world lacks authenticity. So he writes his deepest truths in a notebook which then gets passed along from stranger to stranger adding their own truths. Along the way, they will find connections they didn’t realize they were missing. With a light love story and a few fun surprises, Pooley has penned the perfect little cozy read about friendship.

5. A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

Four classmates from a small Massachusetts college all find themselves in New York City trying to make their way in life: wannabe actor Willem, aspiring painter JB, entry-level architect Malcolm, and Jude who holds them all together. Over the decades, their friendships deepen but also darken – fighting addiction, coping with trauma, and balancing ambition and success.

6. Beyond the Point

Claire Gibson

On the eve of 9/11, three women entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point form an enduring friendship to see them through the years ahead. Dani, the star athlete determined to break barriers; Hannah, the Army brat guided by her faith; and Avery, the wild child pushing boundaries. Covering women in the military and the history of West Point as well as the post-9/11 years, Gibson’s debut novel has plenty to set it apart.

7. Swing Time

Zadie Smith

An unnamed narrator reflects upon her life and a childhood friendship that changed its course forever. Growing up in London, she meets Tracey in a tap dance class. Although Tracey is the more talented dancer, the narrator manages to find a career as an assistant to a world-famous pop star and her friendship with Tracey takes a turn for the worse.

8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

Socially awkward Eleanor Oliphant has the habit of saying exactly what she thinks and much prefers to spend her weekends at home talking on the phone to her mother. When Eleanor and her slovenly coworker Raymond help an elderly gentleman after a fall, they become friends and Eleanor learns that opening up isn’t always a bad thing.

9. Happy & You Know It

Laura Hankin

To make ends meet, Claire accepts a job as a playgroup musician for wealthy New York City moms. As she gets to know her employers – Whitney the up-and-coming social media influencer, Amara the new stay-at-home mom, and Gwen the old-money experienced mom – Claire learns these picture-perfect moms are far from perfect and loves them more for it.

10. Dear Emmie Blue

Lia Louis

When she was sixteen, Emmie Blue released a balloon in England which Lucas discovers across the channel in France, leading to a lifelong friendship. When Lucas gets engaged to be married, Emmie begins to realize that you can’t leave your life up to fate. A heartwarming love story about friendship and loyalty, Dear Emmie Blue is one of my favorite summer releases from 2020. (Trigger warning: Sexual Assault.)

11. The Giver of Stars

Jojo Moyes

During the Great Depression, Englishwoman Alice Wright marries a handsome American and finds herself transplanted to rural Kentucky. To escape her unhappy home life with her withdrawn husband and overbearing father-in-law, Alice agrees to become a traveling librarian, riding around the countryside bringing books to local residents. In her new job, she meets other fierce women and gains lasting friendships. Add in plenty of drama, love stories, corrupt businessmen, and even murder, and you have the perfect light historical fiction read.

12. Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

In the early 1900s, Sunja falls for a wealthy stranger in Korea. When Sunja finds she is pregnant, she learns he is married. Refusing to be his mistress, she instead marries a kind but sickly preacher. Moving to Japan, she becomes best friends with her sister-in-law, a friendship that will pull her family through hardships for generations to come.